Can environmental conservation mitigate the impact of recession on regional Australia?

By Cassian Drew

July 13, 2020

Adobe

Governments and philanthropic groups have long been involved in the purchase of private land to achieve conservation outcomes. The challenge in any conservation activity is to balance economic impact and the expectations of diverse stakeholders interested in the natural resources of a place. The first half of 2020 has presented two transactions that highlight some of the pathways available to government, which Cassian Drew details.

There are many examples globally and across Australia of large-scale land acquisitions seeking environmental conservation outcomes, and a range of public and private models for funding. Ecotourists and bird watchers are attracted to philanthropic funded conservation sites and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy is the largest operator by land area, either owning or managing a total of 65,000 sq km across their estate. In contrast, the Heart Morass in Victoria is a large wetland located between two Ramsar listed sites, incorporating field and game hunting into its economy and involving a large community of off-season volunteers who maintain and restore the environmental assets and breeding sites.

National parks are the traditional public funded option. The benefits of protection that national parks bring to areas where natural environments are threatened by expanding urbanisation are without contest. National parks also generate economic opportunities through tourism when close to populations or accessible through transport. However, it is not uncommon for national parks to receive criticism in regional areas where the traditional benefits of the system are less clear. Feral animals, economic dead zones, reduced population and risk to critical mass of small towns, are some of the common complaints. National parks can also limit practice of cultural activities for Aboriginal peoples including access restrictions and limiting use of fires, hunting, gathering and ceremony – although today greater efforts are made to co-manage parks with Traditional Owners and title transfer with national park lease-back arrangements have been possible in some areas.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, mel ei nihil nostrum. Eruditi intellegebat te quo, cu nec veniam laudem deleniti. Usu ne adhuc semper delicata, latine legimus id vis. In ipsum feugait consetetur vim. Id saepe consul tractatos vel, at esse propriae mel, choro noster oportere vel in.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, mel ei nihil nostrum. Eruditi intellegebat te quo, cu nec veniam laudem deleniti. Usu ne adhuc semper delicata, latine legimus id vis. In ipsum feugait consetetur vim. Id saepe consul tractatos vel, at esse propriae mel, choro noster oportere vel in.

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